Influential American Graphic Designers
Topic: Influential American Graphic Designers and how they changed the Graphic Design world in America. Purpose: America has been home to some incredible Graphic Designers each one of them a thread in the overall tapestry of American Graphic Design. The purpose for this paper is to highlight some of the most notable Graphic Designers and the contributions that they have made to the American Graphics Scene. Question(s):
1. Who is the designer?
2. What area of Graphic Design do they work in?
3. Have they won any awards or recognition?
4. Types of work they have done.
5. What contribution have they made for American Graphic Design 6. What other contributions have they made throughout their careers/lives? Look all around you and you will see art created by Graphic Designers and yet many people will not even take a moment to think about who created it and what the story is behind them. From billboards to movie posters, packaging to TV and movies, Graphic Design is everywhere. When you are in the movie theater lobby the next time take a moment to look at all the posters on the walls announcing the upcoming movies, each and every one of those was created by a Graphic Designer somewhere, they don’t just magically appear. All of this has become so commonplace to us that often we don’t even stop to appreciate the work that goes into it, or think about who worked to create that each piece. Yet looking into the masters of the Graphic Design world can be very fascinating. Many of them were influential not just in the Graphic Design field but also in general. Today we will take a look at two of these influential graphic designers Georg Olden and April Grieman.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama as George Elliot Olden to a Baptist minister named Reverend James Clarence Olden and his bride Sylvia ward Olden who worked as a music teacher, Georg Olden was artistic from the start. At a young age Georg and his family moved to Washington, D.C. so that his dad could serve at the Plymouth congregational Church. While Georg went to a segregated school his father got deeply into politics and ended up leaving his family to work full time to further the civil rights movement. As he was growing up Georg’s talent and love for drawing flourished and he devoted his time to cartooning and working for the black magazine that his high school put out biweekly called Flash. Georg won many awards and trophies for his art but ended up having to take an extra year before he graduated because he failed many of his academic courses. In college he drew cartoons for their newspaper the Virginia Statesman. While he made the dean’s list Georg ended up dropping out of college not long after Pearl Harbor was attacked so that he could work at the Office of Strategic Services as an un-enlisted Graphic Designer where he designed posters that promoted rationing and conservation. The team that he worked with included many other well-known artists and architects who Georg enthusiastically worked to learn from each of them. It was during this time that Georg decided to leave the “e” off the end of his name when he published cartoons in “National CIO News” and used an almost childlike signature to mark them. He explained that he chose to do these things to get noticed by others in the graphic design business but another explanation was given for this by Julie Lasky a journalist who wrote an extensive article on Georg. She says "...this Scandinavian spelling, along with his rendering of Caucasian cartoon figures, served as much as a blind to racial identity as it did a vehicle to recognition." Georg was the first black person to make a successful name for himself in the graphics design field starting when he was hired on to work for CBS. The television at this time was not as popular as it is now Title Card from To Tell The Truth by Georg Olden (I've got a secret.)
Title Card from To Tell The...
Citations: Chambers, Jason. "Georg Olden, One of the Pioneering Blacks in the Ad Industry." Advertising Agency & Marketing Industry News - Advertising Age. N.p., 16 Feb. 2009. Web. 14 July 2013. .
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